The motherboard is, arguably, the most important device in your computer. All the crucial components of your system like the hard drive, memory, external cards and power supply are held by the computer motherboard. Your motherboard will also determine what processor you can use, what external cards you can add to enhance your system and also the peripheral devices you can attach. It is therefore evident that any problem in the motherboard will result in your computer malfunctioning. Ways on how to test motherboard and how to check motherboard model and compatibility are discussed below.
How to Test Motherboard
Follow these instructions on how to check motherboard to find out if it works fine or not
There will be certain diagnostic tools you will come across on your manufacturer's website. Download these tools from there and follow directions mentioned there to test your motherboard.
Restart your desktop computer and enter the Setup or BIOS configuration settings. Take a note of the current settings and reset your BIOS configuration to default settings.
If you have attached any peripheral devices like printers or USB drives, remove them. Also take out any video, sound or graphic card you might have attached to your motherboard. Unplug the hard drive, memory and processor from their respective slots. Gently fix them back at their positions after wiping them with dry cloth. See that there are no loose connections and all wires are properly connected. Now when you start your computer again, it should start and not display an hard drive error. In case it does, the problem is something else.
Exchange parts like power supply, video card or graphic card, from your computer motherboard with a working computer, and check them one by one until you find the troublesome one. Replace it, restart your computer and re-configure BIOS settings to what they were before you reset them to default.
How to Check Motherboard Model in XP
The best way to check motherboard model is to have a look at the motherboard yourself, by opening up the CPU case. You will notice numerous white colored slots one besides the other. Besides these slots, you come across a distinct slot of a different color and shape. In case the slot is colored and of medium length, your motherboard model is AGP, and if the slot is colored and long in length, your motherboard model is PCI-Ex16/2.0. If these slots are missing, you will find a number written on the motherboard, in extremely small fonts. This number is your motherboard model number.
Another way to determine your motherboard model number is to download and run certain applications on Windows XP, specifically designed for this purpose, which can easily be found on the internet. You can also check the manufacturer's website if you know your computer model number.
How to Check Motherboard Compatibility
There are two major companies manufacturing motherboards- Intel and AMD. If you know how to check motherboard model number, you can easily look up website of your manufacturer to get all details regarding motherboard compatibility.
In case you are using an Intel motherboard, then your motherboard should have either Socket 775 or Socket 478. The former has pins directly attached on the motherboard itself, while the latter holes on the motherboard wherein you insert pins. This solves the issue of type of socket present in your motherboard. You will now need to determine the chip-set present on the motherboard and also the type of chips it will support. Check your motherboard specifications from the website online to figure this out.
More complicated than Intel motherboards, are AMD motherboards. They have a massive variety of chip-sets and sockets for their motherboards. In case you are using one, there is no option but to refer the manufacturer's website or to consult an authorized company personnel, in order to check it's compatibility.